Barely 24 hours after a U.S. warship fired warning shots at 13 Iranian patrol boats coming at high speed toward an American naval patrol in the Persian Gulf, Washington and Tehran are now having a “shouting match.”
In a sharply-worded statement put out Tuesday morning, the Iran Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy charged the U.S. with “false narratives and unprofessional behavior.”
The IRGCN also accused the U.S. of provoking the clash with “provocative and aimless shooting” by its Coast Guard cutter.
Within hours, the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command fired back with a carefully –documented report charging that the IRGCN’s “fast in-shore attack craft (FIAC), a type of speedboat armed with machine guns, conducted unsafe and unprofessional maneuvers and failed to exercise due regard for the safety of U.S. forces as required under international law while operating in close proximity to U.S. vessels near the Straight of Hormuz.”
Central Command’s report pointed out that “2 of the 13 IRGCN vessels broke away from the larger group, approached [U.S. ships] Maui and Squall from behind at a high rate of speed (in excess of 32 knots) with their weapons uncovered and unmanned.”
The U.S. crews “issued multiple warnings” to the IRGCN speedboats, who failed to respond. After a blast of the ship’s horn and the firing of warning shots, Central Command reported, the two speedboats “altered course and increased their distance from the U.S. forces.”
Underscoring this report was a film of the encounter and the shooting in the Straights taken by American crew members.
Newsmax contacted the Department of Defense. A spokesman for Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin emailed us: “DoD has nothing to offer on the IRGC statement. Video of the incident is publicly available on DVIDS.net.”
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.